US Daily Newspaper Sales Plummet

04 May 2005

There is bad news for US dailies as six-monthly circulation figures are published.

Sales fell by 1.9% in the half year ended March 31, the biggest drop in nearly ten years, according to the Audit Bureau of Circulations.

The Newspaper Association of America says the average daily circulation was 47,374,033 in the latest period compared with 48,311,581 during the year-earlier period.

  • USA Today remained the largest daily paper with flat circulation of just under 2.3 million.

  • The Wall Street Journal was 2.07 million, down 0.8% from year-earlier levels.

  • The New York Times edged up 0.2% to Monday-Saturday circulation of slightly more than 1.1 million copies.

  • The Los Angeles Times lost 6.5% of its Monday-Saturday circulation, falling to about 908,000.

  • The Washington Post lost 2.7%, to 751,871 in average Monday-Friday sales.

    Some newspaper publishers have blamed the drop in figures on increased regulation of telemarketing which hampers efforts to sign up subscribers. Instead newspapers are relying on door-to-door sales and direct marketing to increase numbers.

    Newspapers' share of advertising spend has also fallen. Media agency Universal McCann says newspapers attracted 22.4% of total US ad spending in 1994 compared with 17.7%. last year. The decline has been hastened by the boom in online advertising.

    Data sourced from Wall Street Journal Online; additional content by WARC staff